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Lorita Maria

Vessel Number: HV000392
Date: 1963
Builder: Jeff Clist
Designer: Alan Payne
Vessel Dimensions: 11.89 m x 8.43 m x 3.43 m x 1.9 m, 9.65 tonnes (39 ft x 27.66 ft x 11.25 ft x 6.25 ft, 9.5 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
LORITA MARIA is an ocean racing yacht built in 1963 and designed by renowned naval architect Alan Payne for Norman Rydge Jnr, a successful Sydney sailor and business man. In 1965 it became the first Australian yacht to compete in the Bermuda and Transatlantic races, two of the most famous blue water offshore yacht races in the northern hemisphere. It was a custom design for Rydge and in 2010 LORITA MARIA remains in almost the exact configuration and detail as it was when launched nearly 50 years ago, including the custom made sheet winches in the cockpit, and its dinghy by the same builder.
DescriptionLORITA MARIA's design was commissioned in 1962 from Alan Payne by Sydney NSW owner Norman Rydge Jr, and named after his wife. At this time Payne had been working on the design of the America's Cup 12 metre GRETEL and employed ideas he had learnt from tank testing that design, especially in the shape of the keel. It was built by Jeff Clist who was well known for his craftsmanship and had previously built the Payne designed Tasman Seabird RONITA. Rydge had gained experience sailing a yacht called PEGASUS and wanted a new design that would be consistent in variable weather and capable of sailing Australian and International ocean races.

Rydge was particularly keen on strong construction and Payne specified a glued, double-planked hull, with closely spaced frames. The yacht was heavily built all round and had a low ballast ratio. It derived form stability from its beamy, hard-bilged hull shape. In hindsight, Rydge considered that the additional weight of the heavy construction used for the deck and cabin was a handicap to the yacht's performance in fresh conditions, while Alan Payne suggested it had too much wetted surface area for success in light weather sailing.

Despite this LORITA MARIA was a good ocean racing yacht. In its first season it won the 1963-64 Ocean Racing Points Score at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, was third in the 1963 Sydney To Hobart race, and managed a fourth place in its class in the light weather 1965 Fastnet Race in the United Kingdom. It generally carried a crew of six including the skipper.

Rydge had shipped the yacht to the UK with the intention of taking part in some of the major races outside of Australia, which no other Australian yacht had done up to that time. He recalls that the other competitors were impressed with his spirit in coming so far to take part, and equally impressed with the design and construction of LORITA MARIA.

Rydge continued to race LORITA MARIA back in Sydney for many years, and used it for cruising and day sailing with his family. He sold the yacht in the 1990s to Paul Smith, who continued to use it for coastal cruising until he passed away in 2007. The current owner intends to use it for cruising as well.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:double plankeddouble-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: PH73N

Sail Number: 173

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